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re: What is today's "goto"? VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

BitCoin is a disaster and should never have become a thing

 

There are two good things, in my opinion, that have come from BitCoin:

  • A way for people in economically-starved countries to receive payment for goods and services in a non-fiat currency
  • The widespread concept of an immutable chain of trust

Despite those, I mostly agree with you - the way that BitCoin has been used, as a whole, has had a negative impact on the world economy and the world's power consumption.

 

The widespread concept of an immutable chain of trust

Blockchain has existed in many forms for years. see: git. The only reason for the proof of work is to get around decentralization fraud, but I'll get back to that.

A way for people in economically-starved countries to receive payment for goods and services in a non-fiat currency

This is a failure of established countries not providing the accessibility to modern payment services imo.

This may be unpopular opinion but decentralized currency will never take off. Money as we know it was designed to be centralized. It's a feature not a bug, to disconnect merchants from buyers and eliminate bartering. And the harm it has done to both the energy and hardware industries is absolutely horrific.

Git and blockchain are very different -- it's the easiest thing in the world to rewrite history in git, an operation blockchains are expressly designed to prevent. I've got more fingers on one hand than I've heard well-considered use cases for a blockchain, but it is its own data structure.

I can't argue with you on those points, honestly. I hadn't thought about git as a chain of trust, and that's a failure on my part because... that's exactly what it is.

This may be unpopular opinion but decentralized currency will never take off. Money as we know it was designed to be centralized. It's a feature not a bug

As much as Gilfoyle and I would love to think that we could get to a universal/decentralized currency, or introduce bartering back into mainstream trading, there's no plausible path to that happening.

I always saw Git as a blockchain because it's still using a hash-verified chain of "blocks" to send data which also happens to be able to be decentralized. Bitcoin sends financial transactions, and git sends code. What do you see that makes them fundamentally different?

I also don't completely disagree with why Bitcoin was invented. To get away from government and to make transactions easier on a global scale. But I feel this is more of an issue with the banks that making a new currency can not solve. The problem with money is that it really doesn't have any value. It only has the value it does because we all use it and accept it from others. Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree my bank should not charge me for minimum balances or inter-bank transfers.

ah, you got me -- the commit hash does depend on history, so the major distinction is in usage (whether you care about modifying history) not in nature.

git as a chain of trust [...] that's exactly what it is

I don't agree. Git can only be trusted as long as everybody is playing fair. Git can neither prevent DoS attacks (pushing thousands of useless commits) or double spending (uhm... code duplication in this analogy???) as long as we're talking about a public repo. The only way to prevent attacks in git is by centralising it (restrict access, forcing a pull request workflow). Referencing earlier data by a pointer on its hash is the only parallel I see between git and blockchains. And that's obviously not what makes blockchains special.

And the harm it has done to both the energy and hardware industries is absolutely horrific.

What's the harm for an industry in selling millions of additional devices at higher prices? The hardware industry LOVES Bitcoin. But I totally agree (and I guess everybody working on blockchains does that, too) that the energy consumption needs to be cut down. Migrating from PoW to PoS or other consensus algorithms that don't rely on computing power must have top priority in blockchain research.

edit: For further clarification - it looks to me as if you think blockchains are a new persistency layer, something one should compare to filesystems, databases, and yes, maybe git. But blockchains are the worst persistency layer, no question about it. Nobody with a sane mind would exchange a persistency layer with a blockchain in an existing app.

What makes blockchains great is the possibility of building apps that were not possible with common persistency layers - decentralised apps, whose functionality are so beneficial that it's okay to base them on the technically worst persistency layer that ever existed, blockchains. (To put it in melodramatic terms.)

Blockchain tech can only be trusted if everyone is playing fair also. There are 51% attacks that have been successful.

Miners are also negatively impacting astronomy and other academic research. The cost and wait time for GPU acquisition definitely is good for hardware vendors, but bad for a broad swath of GPU consumers.

Additionally, Dapps are not really a new thing. BitTorrent, Kazaa, etc., have existed for nearly two decades.

Well, 51% means more than half of the users. That's different to "everyone". Git really needs everyone (100%) to play fair. And while Bittorrent, Kazaa, etc. shared data, Dapps also share logic (code).

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